The Higher Diploma in Music Performance is a comprehensive one-year course ideally suited to those students looking to achieve a solid foundation as a musician in a short period of time. It’s been specially designed to provide you with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for a range of different careers in music or, if you’d prefer to continue with your learning, it’s a natural base from which to progress to an undergraduate degree or other professional qualification in music.

Our highly experienced professional teaching faculty will tutor you in music performance, instrumental technique, musicianship and music technology, allowing you to become a versatile, consistent, expressive and accomplished player. They’ll provide you with a first-hand working knowledge of the way the music business operates, thanks to regular masterclasses, industry events and visits by special guest musicians, and you’ll have access to all the same amazing equipment, facilities and careers benefits that ICMP undergraduates and postgraduates do.

At ICMP, collaboration is encouraged, particularly in a live performance workshop setting, where you’ll form bands with fellow Higher Diploma students and will receive ‘A&R-style’ feedback on your performance from both peers and tutors.

Learning happens within a real-world music industry environment, which will see you assessed while performing at a gig you helped to organise, in a renowned London venue, in front of a real audience.

At the end of your year with ICMP, you’ll have all the tools you need to launch a professional music industry career, as well as a thorough foundation in music which will stand you in good stead for future study.

  • The ICMP Higher Diploma is a BTEC Level 4 (RQF) HNC in Music (Performance) accredited by Pearson Edexcel.

September 2021: What you can expect...

In September 2021, we will be returning to a primarily onsite, face-to-face learning experience. All subjects and classes that are best suited to face-to-face delivery – such as performance activity, studio classes and other practical workshops – will be timetabled into the appropriate teaching spaces at our campuses. All of these sessions will be socially-distanced and properly ventilated. In order to facilitate socially-distanced learning, we have reduced our group sizes to a maximum of 13 and, because of the consequent need to run more sessions, some learning activity will take place online. We have listened to student feedback and only planned online delivery for those subjects and classes that work well in this mode, such as lectures and discussion seminars. This blend of onsite and online education will ensure we can facilitate the highest quality of learning and teaching, whilst ensuring the ongoing safety of all students and staff.

Fees & Funding

Taking a music course at ICMP makes financial sense too, with the fees for ICMP music courses significantly less than those at many traditional universities, and, also much lower than other UK music education providers - making studying music at ICMP in London great value as well as great fun.

2021/22 Course Fees: UK Students | EU/EEA/International Students

Programme Specification 



Key facts

  • September 2021: Your learning experience will be primarily onsite, with some non-practical classes taking place online.
  • An intensive course with the aim of helping you to become a well-rounded musician and fast-tracking you on the path to a career in music
  • Further progression possible to an undergraduate degree or further professional qualification in music on successful completion of the course.
  • The London location provides opportunities to perform in gigs at top London venues, while immersing yourself in the global music scene.
  • High-quality teaching by music industry practitioners in a creative, inspiring and personal learning environment.
  • Extensive music industry connections enable you to build an impressive musical network.
  • A high level of contact teaching hours, delivered in small groups in world-class facilities.
  • A truly international college, with musical opportunities around the globe via partners in California, Nashville, Malmö and Paris.
  • 121 with tutor



The eight units that you will study on the Higher Diploma in Music Performance course will help you to gain a solid foundation as a musician in a short period of time. They've been specially selected to provide you with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for a range of different careers in music, in areas such as session playing, touring, performing, recording or creating music.

Instrumental Technique

This unit will investigate both the theory and practice of the technical skills required by a professional musician, including harmony, scales, rudiments, technical exercises, warm ups, posture, dynamics, tempos, pitch, using a metronome, instrument maintenance, and more.


This unit will encourage you to investigate all the aspects involved in staging a musical performance, including performance techniques, audience expectations, planning a rehearsal phase, commercial costs, hiring musicians, stage plans, technical specification lists (tech specs), communicating with a venue and promoting an event.

Music Production Fundamentals

This unit introduces the skills needed to record, produce, mix and master creative ideas within a framework of modern music production technology, and current studio and industry practice.

Applied Music Theory

In this unit, you’ll put music theory into practice to unlock the compositional and stylistic elements of different musical genres and will be able to demonstrate those concepts on keyboard or a second instrument.

The Music Industry

This unit will introduce you to the structure of the music industry, focusing on revenue flows, employment opportunities, business activities and growth potential.

Marketing and Promotion for Musicians

This unit will provide you with knowledge about freelancing and marketing activities, such as effective networking, and online and social media marketing, which you can use to create a professional marketing presence and further your music career.

The Evolution of the Instrument

The aim of this unit is to help you understand how and why your instrument became what it is today. It provides an introduction to notable advocates of your instrument, and aims to broaden your knowledge of recorded music and instrumental technique.

Professional Development

In this unit, you’ll explore the many potential avenues of employment that relate to your specialism, while building an awareness of how to present yourself to the marketplace


You will be taught at our campus in Kilburn, utilising our live rooms, tech suites and in-house music studio facilities as well as classrooms and lecture rooms. You will have access to use these facilities outside of class time while you are a student at ICMP in order to rehearse and record your music. 

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group tutorials, performance workshops, music technology workshops tutorials and one to one instrumental tuition. 

In September students will experience a primarily onsite, face-to-face learning experience, with some non-practical classes delivered online. Onsite lessons will be taught at our Kilburn campus , utilising our live performance rooms and extensive range of music equipment/instruments. Online lessons will be taught via Microsoft Teams.  

You can expect to experience two days per week (approximately 11 hours) of onsite, face-to-face teaching. The remainder of your timetable (typically 3-4 hours each week) will be delivered online through a combination of Canvas (our online central learning environment) and Microsoft Teams. 

You will have access to the Student Services Department for support and advice concerning welfare, finance, personal development, safeguarding etc. You'll also have access to our Professional Development team ‘The Hub, who provide bespoke music industry careers advice and access to unique industry opportunities.

Read more about our blended-delivery model for September 2021.

Teaching and Learning

On the Higher Diploma in Music Performance programme you will be taught in small mixed groups for seminars and small workshop groups for practical skills.

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you'll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, and preparing coursework assignments.Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including our Learning Resource Centre, our many performance and practice rooms, and well-equipped tech suites.

Throughout the duration of your course your time will be split as follows:

Teaching, Learning and Assessment hours per year:
448 hours

Self-study hours per year:
752 hours


Modules are assessed through a variety of means, including practical exams and performance, projects and viva voce.

The assessment of this programme is:
100% Practical based


Applicants will typically have A Levels, BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma, or International Baccalaureate equivalent to 32 UCAS points.

In addition, you should hold a GCSE Grade C or 4 or above in English, or suitable equivalent, such as Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Adult Literacy/Numeracy.

We also welcome applications from mature applicants who may have no formal qualifications but who can demonstrate their suitability for study through appropriate skills and experience.

International students will typically hold a relevant equivalent qualification – please check your qualification with our Admissions Team. In addition, you should hold a relevant English language qualification equivalent to CEFR Level B2.

All applicants will be invited to attend an audition/interview. 

UCAS code W300Uni code i25


Please apply via  the "APPLY NOW" link  below.

At any time during the application process if you need help or further advice just contact our Admissions team who will be happy to assist you. 


By phone:
020 7328 0222

By email: